Forget Tolstoy? Forget Paris. : Blog Of The Nation Love me, love my bookshelf... Literary deal breakers.
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Forget Tolstoy? Forget Paris.

Forget Tolstoy? Forget Paris.

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/89240914/89241425" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

I'm really a literary omnivore. I adore Dickens, Tolstoy, Hemingway, but there's an awful lot of Daphne Du Maurier, Philippa Gregory, and yes, at one time, Dan Brown (!) on my night table as well. That said, I really do not think I could love a man who didn't share certain of my literary tastes — for instance, the phrase "Saw the movie..." when talking about, say Ian McEwan's masterpiece Atonement would be the literary equivalent of halitosis (i.e., I'm not going to kiss you if you haven't read the book. I still may not kiss you if you didn't love it.) Rachel Donadio captured this perfectly in her much read — and railed about — piece in the Sunday New York Times, "It's Not You, It's Your Books." So today, lend us your snobbiest stories — the moment when a paramour mispronounced J.M. Coetzee (it's cut-ZEE-uh — Duh), or confessed an aversion to Nabokov (that's na-BOK-off). Or — have you happily made a home with someone who loves their Tom Clancy (I am a Clancyphile, so there)?